KATE radio announcer reminisces and says farewellPublished 6:06am Sunday, October 27, 2013
Column: Farewell, by Aaron Worm
In the last seven-plus years, I’ve been blessed to watch many great high school sporting events, cover amazing student athletes and get to know numerous coaches. Here’s a list of some of the most memorable:
Oct. 15, 2008
The Albert Lea football team beat Austin 27-20 in the regular season finale. Albert Lea’s Cody Hanson hit Aaron Klatt on a 25-yard touchdown pass with just under four seconds to play. I remember Dave Gilbertson predicted the play on the air before it happened, and Tom Jones yelled, “Huge Play!” after the touchdown.
Oct. 2, 2009
The Albert Lea Football beat No. 7-ranked Rochester Century 26-21. Tigers were 0-4, and the Panthers were 4-0 coming into the game. On a raining night at Hammer Stadium, Albert Lea handed the Panthers what would be their only loss in the Big Nine Conference that season, which would cost them a share of the conference crown.
March 7, 2012
The Albert Lea boys’ basketball team, the No. 6 seed in the section tournament, upset No. 3-seed Kasson-Mantorville in the opening round. Kyle Ooms scored 25 points, and Evan Templeman added 24 as the Tigers led by 22 at halftime en route to the postseason win.
Feb. 27, 2013
The Albert Lea girls’ basketball team, the No. 7 seed in the section tournament, knocked off No. 2-seed Winona in the opening round. In the first year under head coach Lindsey Hugstad-Vaa, Albert Lea hoped for a No. 4 or 5 seed in the tournament, but it was surprisingly given the No. 7 seed. With a chip on its shoulder, Albert Lea went to Winona and
Feb. 16, 2008
The Albert Lea wrestling team squeaked past Owatonna in the section final to get to state. Albert Lea led 25-22 going into the final match, but if Owatonna’s Casey Dehn would’ve beaten Andrew Peterson and tied things at 25, the Huskies would’ve won, because the Huskies had the tiebreaker by winning eight matches to the Tigers’ six. Peterson held off Dehn in the final seconds and won the match 3-2 to propel the Tigers to state.
Oct. 31, 2008
The Alden-Conger football team advanced to the state playoffs with an 18-0 victory over Nicollet. It was a great story. Not only did Alden-Conger advance to state, it was the 10-year anniversary of the last time the Knights made it to state. The head coach of the 2008 team, Chad Mattson, was the quarterback of the state-qualifying team in 1998.
Dec. 7, 2010
The Albert Lea boys’ hockey team beat Rochester John Marshall 7-4, and Roy Nystrom became the winningest coach in the history of Minnesota boys’ high school hockey. Eric Carlson and Levi Hacker each had two goals as the Tigers beat the Rockets 7-4, and Nystrom picked up career win 617 to pass legendary Edina coach Willard Ikola. Being there to experience a piece of Minnesota Hockey history, and also being in attendance when the Albert Lea City Arena was renamed Roy Nystrom Arena, are two nights I won’t ever forget. It was a honor to cover the legendary coach, who I now call a friend.
March 16, 2013
The New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva girls’ basketball won the state title. Carlie Wagner set a tournament record with 50 points, and the Panthers beat Braham 60-59 at Target Center. What a fun ride for all the media that followed that team. Thanks to the Wagner family for jump-starting my parents’ vehicle in Mankato after the section final, and it was fun finding out that Paige Overgaard’s first radio interview was with us on Albert Lea Radio after the win that sent the team back to state.
Others notable games
On Dec. 11, 2012, the Albert Lea boys’ basketball team lost to No. 2-ranked Austin 72-71 in double overtime. On Oct. 23, 2012, the Albert Lea football team upset Waseca 14-9 in the section playoffs. On Feb. 23, 2012, the No. 7-seed Albert Lea boys’ hockey team upset No. 2-seed New Prague 2-1 in three overtimes in the first round of the section playoffs.
I could fill pages with all the amazing games I had the opportunity to call.
I want to thank Tom Jones and Dave Gilbertson — the two sports gurus — for being a part of the broadcast team, for teaching me the rich history of Albert Lea sports and for being such great friends. I also want to thank John Hanson, Brian Paul, Steve Svendsen, Steve Falk, Jason Fornwald, Dennis Dieser and others who I’ve had the privilege to work with on broadcast. Thank-you to my second family, the great staff at Albert Lea Radio: Renae Sather, Courtnay Doyle, Darrel Amundson, June Goodnature, Bob Mithuen, Kelly Mithuen, Keri Stadheim, Paul Shea, Stephanie Brueur, Amy Martin, Sara Jo Vulcan, Nick Semple, Rick Vaughn, Ben Haney, Bill Elliot and others I’ve worked with during the last seven-plus years. Thank-you to Jackie Hillman for hiring me in August of 2006 and giving me the opportunity to work and live in this wonderful community. Thankyou to Three Eagles Communications and all their support over the years. I apologize if I missed anyone. I’ve met many great people and have made so many friendships. God Bless! Thank-you to everyone, and I’ll be back to visit often.